Monday, September 8, 2014

Kicking Off Writing Workshop!

Hi everyone!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  The weather in Ohio FINALLY cooled down some.  Friday it was 90 and Saturday it was 65.  It's a wonder my head didn't detach from my body and float away...My weekend was pretty busy.  On Friday I went to an adoption finalization party {never heard or this or been to one before!} for a friend and it was a lot of fun!  Her little girl is so sweet!  Then I hit up a festival with some other friends on Saturday.  Luckily we were able to get some food before the rain started...Sunday I spent blogging, creating, and doing school work.  I can't believe today marks the start of week 4 for us at school!  I am sort of getting a schedule down.  It's tricky because right now we do not have an IS {she had a major medical emergency and isn't sure if she will be back} and her para has been trying to hold the fort down with multiple subs.  I can't really get my RTI and Reading Groups going yet due to this uncertainty in the schedule.

One thing we have started is Writing Workshop!  Hooray!  Writing is my favorite part of the day.  I have told you that before, I'm sure.  I love seeing how the kids apply what I model in my mini-lessons into their independent writing.  We began Writing last week by talking about real-world reasons writing is important.  I always like to show real examples of recipes, cards, notes, and lists to my students.  I facilitate the discussion into them coming up with those things and they love when I show them the real examples of them!  I told the kids that to start the year, they must write, draw, and finally color.  I modeled my first mini-lesson about getting an idea to write.  I wrote my short story on large chart paper using my spacer stick {I had given these out a week prior for kids to use in their morning work and other back to school writing activities we'd been doing}.  I re-read it several times with them and we decided that it made sense.  The next step was to draw.  I drew my picture with a black marker first {I am probably THE WORST artist on the planet.  I despise drawing in front of the kids b/c I don't have a freakin' clue how to draw anything.  Been "winging it" for 11 years}.  Last, before I colored my picture, we went over the 3-start picture rubric posters that we completed together the week prior.  I really added a lot of colors to my picture to match the 3-star picture rubric.

Once I finished my lesson, we went over the noise-level expectations for writing.  I didn't want to overwhelm the kids with rules this first day, but I did let them know that whispers were what I expected.  I may have bribed them with this: "I'll be looking for kids working hard that will get to share their stories afterward...maybe we'll even share them on the projector!"  I distributed paper accordingly.  I like to differentiate paper based on student ability.  Lots of lines can overwhelm a beginning writer.  Any lines period can also overwhelm a non-writer.  I used my teacher judgement to distribute the paper and I was pretty spot-on!

I turned on my tried and true classical music cd.  If you don't have this, you can search YouTube for "Classical Music" and the first one is 6 hours long!  I will be using that in the near future, as we have a mic system in our classroom.

The kids got "write" to work {tee hee} and I was really impressed!  The variety of levels is always overwhelming at first, but it always seems to work out as time goes on.  When I noticed that some of my more advanced students had written just one sentence, I prompted them/guided them to write one or two more.

I had a few students ask me how to spell some seasonal words so I busted out my Seasonal Words Vocabulary Posters that I have hanging on a ring near my desk.  This wasn't going to be introduced until later but you gotta take advantage of those teachable moments!

After about 10 minutes of independent writing, it was time to call it quits for day 1.  I fulfilled my promise and chose 3 students to share their stories on my doc camera.  They were obsessed!  This definitely held the other students' attention.

After each child shared, I modeled giving appropriate compliments.  Then the kids had a turn.  We used my free compliment posters to guide the compliments.

I'd say it was an eventful day 1 of Writing!  I'll be back later in the week to show you how I meet the needs of all of my students during Writing time!

To grab the illustration rubrics and writing paper, click below!

OH, and PS:  I am celebrating a milestone and was in the TpT newsletter yesterday!  In celebration, all of my Writing Workshop units are on sale through Wednesday, September 10, including my big bundle of Writing mini-lessons for a year!

*The Seasonal Vocabulary Words Posters I referenced above are also on sale!*



Catherine Hammond said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hi! I love that projector that you're using! What is it called? Also, I really like the 3 star coloring rubric sheets. Are those available somewhere? Thanks!

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